EA and Disney sign exclusive deal for Star Wars games
With the upcoming release of Star Wars Episode VII, EA and Disney have signed a multi-year deal to publish Star Wars games made by DICE, BioWare, and Visceral Games. The agreement covers all “major platforms”. However, Disney still retains the rights to make social and casual games for mobile devices, tablets, and the web.
This is both exciting and horrifying at the same time. Imagine the possibilities of a Frostbite 3-powered game set in the famous universe. Imagine BioWare’s narrative and technical skills in a Star Wars game again. Imagine Visceral making a hack-and-slash or Dead Space-esque game set in this universe. The possibilities are, quite interestingly, endless. What’s horrifying is the fact that EA might put draconian DRM—Simcity, anyone?—in these games. How about endless waves of DLC?
Honestly, I’m excited at the prospect of more Star Wars games. The great thing is that all these studios are great at what they do—making good games. Excellent graphics, engaging gameplay, and good narratives are all that I can hope for at this point. I just hope EA doesn’t screw it up with their underhanded tactics.
LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy is similarly excited, noting that the company chose the publisher which could “consistently deliver great Star Wars games for years to come.” That’s for console platforms though; casual and social titles will be made by Disney Interactive itself.
No specific games were announced, though we can expect some announcements soon.
Epic Mickey 2 video goes behind the scenes
A new video for Epic Mickey 2 goes behind the scenes of its development. Game director Warren Spector touches upon the world of the Wasteland, and talks about the capabilities of the PS3 and Xbox 360, among other things.
The game is due out this fall on PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii.
THQ to Incinerate Next-gen
THQ is ready to incinerate next-gen consoles! The publisher has announced the formation of Incinerator Games, the latest addition to THQ’s group of internal studios. Comprised of veterans of the Twisted Metal, NFL GameDay, MLB 2006 and the Midnight Club franchises, Incinerator Games is primarily focused on development for next-gen platforms.
Based in Carlsbad, California, the studio is currently working on next-gen versions of Cars, the latest hit movie from Disney/Pixar. The game is set for release this Fall for Xbox 360 and Wii. Future projects are also being worked on at the moment.
Kingdom Hearts II Euro Release Date
Square Enix sends word that Kingdom Hearts II will be available in Europe exclusively for the PS2 this Autumn.
The highly anticipated RPG sequel brings the world of Disney and Square Enix characters to life again with a new story and even more characters and locations.
In KINGDOM HEARTS II, players will travel through the worlds of Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Steamboat Willie and Tron as well as revisit worlds from the original, including Aladdin, Disney Castle, Hercules, The Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The game features more than 100 Disney characters, including the new additions of Chicken Little, Stitch from Lilo and Stitch and one of Disney’s favourite villains, Pete.
KINGDOM HEARTS II also introduces new, original characters such as Roxas, members of Organization XIII and the Nobodies, all designed by Square Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura, director and character designer of the KINGDOM HEARTS series. Nomura is best known for his creations in the top selling titles FINAL FANTASY VII, VIII, X, X-2 and directing FINAL FANTASY VII: ADVENT CHILDREN.
Lumines II, Lumines Plus Announced
From BVG comes word that it has entered an agreement with Q Entertainment to pubish four new titles in all regions except Asia.
The first title is the highly anticipated sequel to Lumines for the PSP, along with Lumines Plus, a new version of the original title for the PS2. Every Extend Extra, a puzzle shooter game for the PSP and Meteos: Disney Edition, another action puzzle game featuring Disney characters, for the DS round out the announcement.
No other details were announced, except that all the above titles are set for release this Fall.
Pirates of the Caribbean Online MMO at E3
Always wanted to be a pirate, but didn’t have the guts, the smell and the bad mouth? Disney Online has announced that it will unveil the never-before-seen Pirates of the Caribbean Online MMO at this year’s E3 expo.
Slated for release sometime next year, the MMO will let players embark on quests for adventure and treasure in an effort to become the most “legendary” pirate. The game will feature hundreds of customization options, letting players create their own unique pirates, their crews as well as skills and tactics. Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann – characters from the movie franchise – will also be there to be interacted with, along with the quintessential enemies.
Pirates of the Caribbean Online will be shown – minus live sexy women and swords – at booth #1024 in the South Hall.
More Kingdom Hearts Headed Our Way
It’s no surprise that the oddest mash up in the history of videogames is also one of the most successful. Following the release of Kingdom Hearts II in North America, the series’ creator Tetsuya Nomura took some time to talk about the franchise with Famitsu where he revealed that he has new ideas for the continuation of the series.
He talked about a new installation which will be a spin-off based on the popular Disney/Square Enix series – it will apparently not follow a straight timeline with Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, but will fit into the flow and will have a connection to the main storyline. He notes however, that it is “still as a conceptual phase, where I’m thinking about what I want to do.”
When asked about whether he plans on doing Kingdom Hearts 3, he put on a smile, neither denying nor confirming it. Kingdom Hearts 2 has been released a few days ago, and according to this GameRankings score, it’s a critical success and most probably a commercial one too, in the case of which, a third title is almost surely guaranteed.